The case of Syria shows that Europe maintains a limited ability to shape its Southern neighbourhood. For the time being it remains a fairly insignificant political actor in the unfolding Syrian crisis.
Middle East and North Africa
Kofi Annan has created a diplomatic framework for dealing with the Syrian crisis. However, the security situation has changed and Annan must move with deliberate caution to make the 'Syrian-led political process' a success.
No one wants to deal with dictators. But one year after the Syrian uprising began, the harsh truth is that Bashar al-Assad maintains the upper hand and the opposition – with its international backers – may have little choice but to cut a deal with him if they want to ease the Syrian people’s suffering.
An end to the bloodshed may necessitate talks with the regime
For so long a reliably boring country in the middle of a tumultuous region, there are signs that Jordan may soon become lively as demands for political reform and the wider impact of the Arab Awakening begin to reach Amman.